1,000 Katas

One thousand katas is a lot of friggin’ kata! This is my not-so-brilliant observation from our Week 4 challenge: Kata.

Site of many, many kata.

For a few years now, the 100 Kata Challenge has been going around the internet. In looking for a karate-themed week for our Savage Summer (See previous post for details), this had potential. However, with everyone else doing 100 katas, we decided on 1,000. With a week to complete the challenge, we set a handful of ground rules: such as including exercises of roughly the same length as Goju kata.


Here is what I learned from the challenge:

  • One thousand katas is a lot of friggin’ kata! I averaged over 2.5 hours per day for the week, with the last day requiring well over 3 hours to reach the goal.

  • I have forgotten as many kata as I still remember. I had to severely cull the list to blast through the katas I know. Logbook and video review cleaned up a few of the rare ones I wanted top of mind again.

  • I love the commonality of techniques across systems. More than once, I started one kata only to find myself finishing another (No, those didn’t count.) From Hanshi Legacy’s White Crane, to Tai Chi sets, or from Koryu-Uchinadi exercises to Goju kata, to Kobudo forms, so many techniques and postures cross over.

  • There is an elegance and beauty in kata performed purely for the sake of kata, whether it’s hard and fast, or slow and flowing. More often than not, in training I focus on bunkai. If you don’t know the application of a move in a kata, then you are only doing a dance. Well… sometimes its nice just to dance (just not for a 1,000).